When Ava Met Franky

You all know that I was incredibly fearful (and guilty) about bringing another baby into this world — bringing Ava a sibling. From the moment I got that positive pregnancy test the fear poured in. [click here to read the blog post]

Would my relationship with Ava be ruined? Would she hate me for it? Would she feel like she was being replaced?

Ava is my little bestie, as you all know, and the thought of making her upset or replacing some of our time together with another baby made me cry. I cried a lot. And then as my due date approached, I cried even more as I thought about those three nights away from her. Before this, I’d never spent a night away from her and I also wrote a blog post on these fears as my due date neared — click here to read it.

You all reassured me that our bond would still be strong, that she may go through a tough time at first but that I’d be giving her the gift of a little bestie, and that my heart wouldn’t be split between my two kids but that it would double in size.

And you were all so right.

When Ava Met Franky - Tips for Introducing Your Second Baby into the Family - The Overwhelmed Mommy Blogger

My heart is not split between Ava and Franky — it has absolutely doubled. In fact, it’s exploding.

Since so many of you have been asking how Ava’s doing, I figured I’d give you a little update on how it went when she first met Franky, how it’s been this first week and what we’ve been doing to make sure Ava still feels so special and loved.

 
When Ava met Franky 

Ava stayed home with one of her Aunties and we were told that Ava was beyond excited to meet her little brother. The excitement sure did come to a halt as soon as she saw him in my arms, though.

She wasn’t sad or mad but really, just seemed a bit timid and confused. We took some photos as a family and she’d smile but made sure not to take her eyes off of him — you just never know what those sneaky babies are going to do when you aren’t looking, right? It was pretty hilarious, though, seeing her take everything in.

When Ava Met Franky - Tips for Introducing Your Second Baby into the Family - The Overwhelmed Mommy Blogger
When Ava Met Franky - Tips for Introducing Your Second Baby into the Family - The Overwhelmed Mommy Blogger

About 10 minutes later, she flipped a switch and wanted to sit next to him. She was touching his cheeks and petting those chunky arms and just looking and touching him, almost like she was in awe that he was out in the world.

And then that night, the true smiles came out as she stared at him with the cutest smile!

When Ava Met Franky - Tips for Introducing Your Second Baby into the Family - The Overwhelmed Mommy Blogger
When Ava Met Franky - Tips for Introducing Your Second Baby into the Family - The Overwhelmed Mommy Blogger

Day Two went even better. She was sitting next to me on my hospital bed and said “Mama give me baby Franky, please.” So of course, I jumped on that request! I placed him in her arms and gahh my heart melted all over the floor! I mean, look at her face!

Later that evening, she continued to ask to hold him, made a fort for him on the hospital couch and came over and asked if she could bring him inside with her. It was pure joy — the moments I was waiting for.

And then we came home and she’s been such a doll with him. She hugs him and covers him with blankets and brings him toys all day long. She loves that little boy.

But there’s one thing she isn’t quite used to — the crying. 

I’ve got to say, he’s a pretty chill baby and really doesn’t cry often but whenever he makes a sound, she says “Mama what is he doing?” and then when he cries it’s so sad to watch her — she runs and hides, covers her face, gets super upset and almost nervous hearing those cries. We continue to reassure her that he’s just hungry or sleepy and that’s his way of telling us because he can’t talk yet but I’m sure, we will make it over that hump soon.

When Ava Met Franky - Tips for Introducing Your Second Baby into the Family - The Overwhelmed Mommy Blogger

So it’s only been a week but I’d say, she’s doing great so far. Of course I’m expecting some sort of regression to come at some point but in the meantime, I’m soaking in all of the sweetness.
 

What have we been doing to ensure Ava still feels special?

So much. We’ve been focusing so much energy on this. So here’s just a couple things we’ve done:

  - We include Ava on everything and show her that we value her help. She helps us change diapers, gets blankets for us when we need them and has been the cutest little helper.

  - We put Franky down and focus on her. If I’m holding Franky and Ava asks me to play or to snuggle, I try not to bring Franky with me every single time and instead, put him down and focus on her. I show her that we still get special alone time, even though he’s in our family now.

  - We’ve been spoiling her. She’s stayed up past her bed time, she’s gotten extra snuggles and movies with mom and dad, Jamba Juice trips, ice cream dates with dad and grandpa and we’re doing our best to spoil her a little extra during this time. And she got to sleep in our bed this week. This is something we never do but Ava loves it. So the other night as we were putting her to bed, my husband asked her if she wanted to sleep in our bed and of course, she absolutely did. She fell asleep between mama and dada with Franky in his own room and woke up between us in the morning. And it made her smile bigger than ever getting to do something special like that.

- We treat her as a responsible big sister and give her responsibilities. My favorite thing is when we ask Ava to keep an eye on Franky for us and she responds with “Uhhh of course, mama” every single time. Melts my freaking heart!